Similarities Between Kant And Rousseau

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The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement which predominantly fuelled the events of the French Revolution. The political and social turmoil was inspired by the political philosophers of the Enlightenment movement. By criticising the common public’s scepticism towards intellectual expansion, Immanuel Kant ushered the revolutionary movement through the introduction of the importance of knowledge and reasoning. Kant endorsed the French Revolution, for it was essentially a representation of his principles exhibited in his essay What is Enlightenment (1784). Furthermore, the 1789 Revolution supported philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ideals of a state directed by the “general will” of its people. Rousseau’s archetypal form of government opposed the structure of the Ancien Régime. In fact, Kant and Rousseau’s notions were similar in that both viewed enlightenment to be impossible under the old regime. Both …show more content…
Both Enlightenment philosophes Immanuel Kant and Jean-Jacques Rousseau viewed the French Revolution to be an age of Enlightenment as it enlightenment was perceived to be impossible under the Ancien Régime. Kant’s support for the events of 1789 was largely due to his belief that the political upheaval represented his notion on man’s liberation from self-imposed tutelage. In other words, the French Revolution was an embodiment of his principles displayed in his essay What is Enlightenment? (1784). On the other hand, Rousseau’s Social Contract (1762) described an alternative to the old regime. Rousseau supported the French Revolution because he believed that a state was only legitimate if it was directed by the “general will” of its citizens. While the principles of both philosophes diverged when analysing the basis of the absence of enlightenment, Rousseau and Kant both perceived the French Revolution to be necessary in achieving the age of

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